Performer of the Week: Candice Glover

Candice Glover Lovesong American IdolA weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Candice Glover

THE SHOW | American Idol

THE EPISODE | “Top 6 Perform”

THE AIRDATE | April 10, 2013

THE PERFORMANCE | Candice Glover got a rude shock a week ago Thursday on American Idol‘s Top 7 results night. When the show’s quartet of judges and mentor Jimmy Iovine were asked to name their personal Top 3 lists, only Mariah Carey included the 23-year-old vocalist from St. Helena Island, GA — despite the fact that she’s been consistently fantastic in every performance since her audition aired in January. To make matters worse, when Ryan Seacrest revealed America’s vote totals, Candice was stuck in midpack while Lazaro Arbos, who’d forgotten his lyrics two weeks running, was in the Top 3.

So, when she took the stage Wednesday night, Candice had something to prove. After her first number — a stunning, modern reboot of Dionne Warwick’s “Don’t Make Me Over” that won a standing ovation from the judges — Candice returned to close the show with an out-of-left pick for “The Song You Wish You’d Written”: The Cure’s 1989 gem “Lovesong,” which had also been covered by Adele in 2011.

To call Candice’s rendition transcendent would be an understatement. Delivering the opening verse accompanied by nothing other than band leader Ray Chew’s piano, Candice reimagined “Lovesong” as a powerful torch song — effortlessly playing with the melody and adding cool, organic riffs that were on par with the all-time jazz greats. Every choice she made in the song was as surprising as it was goosebump-inducing. It would’ve been easy to get lost in the technical brilliance of what Candice was doing if it wasn’t so emotionally transformative.

By the time Candice finished, the audience was on its feet — letting out a rapturous roar unlike any in recent Idol history. Judge Keith Urban dropped to his knees and bowed down before Candice. Mariah shimmied onto the stage and annointed the singer with a handful of glitter. Candice, for her part, wept tears of joy and disbelief as Ryan Seacrest attempted to silence the audience so the judges would have time to offer some feedback.

On its own merits, “Lovesong” was indeed one of the greatest (maybe even the greatest) performance in Idol history — a perfect storm of audaciously creative vision, deeply heartfelt delivery, and undeniable vocal mastery. (It didn’t hurt that Candice looked absolutely gorgeous, nor that the minimal production — floating rose petals against a black backdrop — was hypnotizing, too.) And in the larger scheme of things, with a two-minute display of virtuosity, Candice singlehandedly managed to bring positive water-cooler buzz to a season of Idol that’s made headlines mostly for sagging ratings and a squabbling judges’ panel. If you weren’t lucky enough to catch the performance on Wednesday, we’ve embedded it below.

HONORABLE MENTION | The Mindy Project‘s Chris Messina, who, in moment of airplane turbulence-induced terror, revealed an endearing vulnerability rarely seen in his typically tough doc, Danny. With nothing more than a sideways glance and an intense grab of his co-worker/potential crush Mindy’s hand, his walls came tumbling down — and the ‘ship factor for these two skyrocketed! (Bonus points for the hilariously realistic disgust Danny spewed at Mindy over her lack of packing skills.)

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99 Comments
  1. RichieOnTV says:

    I loved Candice’s performance but let’s be real, Southland’s Michael Cudlitz (aka John Cooper) was the true Performer of the Week.

    • Danyelle says:

      ITA he was great but I am pretty sure they already gave it to him a week or two ago.

      • RichieOnTV says:

        Giving it to him two weeks ago doesn’t negate the fact that he deserved to win this week. And he shared the last one with Norman Reedus. He deserved this one, or at least an honorable mention. He was outstanding.

    • C says:

      Ha! I just typed the same thing. He was amazing!

    • T says:

      I would actually vote Anthony Ruvivar for performer of the week this time. True Michael Cudlitz has been a revelation this season, especially these last few episodes but Ruvivar made Lucero’s pain PALPABLE in all of his scenes this week. Every scream, all the pain felt and seemed so real. Even when he was being a jerk to Cooper you could see the inner turmoil in his face as to why he was acting that way. That guy went out with a stellar performance.

    • LYJ says:

      I for one am grateful that Candice’s talent is being recognized here especially after the judges were dishonest about their top 3 the previous week. Candice is not WGWG, but it’s okay to appreciate her for the amazing talent that she is even if it’s different from what everyone else is used to. She’s amazing and this performance is off the charts. It is what it is. I saw Spartacus, and it was brilliantly done, and so was Candice’s interpretation and vocal range on this song.

    • Teeny Bikini says:

      Honestly, Cudlitz could win every week, but I think he won last week or something. The guy is beyond. Candice made her mark on Idol history this week. Well done.

  2. Lalalala says:

    Um how about the entire cast of Glee

  3. Adam says:

    Honorable mention: Heather Morris for Glee

  4. C says:

    No way. Glover was good, for sure, but you obviously missed Southland if you didn’t name Michael Cudlitz POTW. He was amazing and reminds us that we can’t let reality shows kill quality TV.

    • Lauren says:

      My name is Lauren and I am a _huge_ SouthLAnd fan. Dear TVline: Please don’t dillute the meaning of MC’s first win here by giving him another just weeks later. It’s a slippery slope and will open the door for every (unappreciative) fan to lobby for a 2nd win for their fave show. If Claire Daines didn’t get 2 last season, no one should. Thank you.

      • T says:

        Why does it matter if someone gets “Performer of the Week” more than once?? You give the performance of the week, you get acknowledged. Point. Blank. Period. If people are allowed to win consecutive Emmys, I’m pretty sure they can be named “Performer of the Week” more than once on a blog.

      • Teeny Bikini says:

        I love that so many people are watching Southland! Yay.

  5. Elly says:

    Agree with honorable mention for glee. The writers picked an iffy subject matter but the actors did amazing jobs non-the-less. Especially Chord Overstreet.

  6. Roger says:

    Seriously, how many episodes does NIKITA have to consecutively pump out before Maggie Q or ANYONE of that cast get recognized?!

  7. Alienate says:

    Candice gave us Chills and raw LIVE emotion. She deserved it. Thanks for selecting her.

  8. Aly says:

    I know it only aired last night, but how about anyone from the cast of Spartacus? Now THAT was a brilliant performance by all.

  9. nikki says:

    Catelyn Stark when she talked about wishing Jon Snow dead. One of the most moving scenes I’ve ever watched. Where’s the Game of Thrones love?

  10. Lucy says:

    Trivial point, but St Helena Island is SC, not GA.

  11. uh huh says:

    Really? All she did was take Adele’s arrangement of the song (nothing original there), and add two or three syllables of runs to every other word. I thought it was rather boring.

    • iamraven07 says:

      Oh, I listened to Adele’s version of the song and Candice did MORE than just take Adele’s version. She nailed, slayed, and killed that song!

      • uh huh says:

        If you like singers who turn the word “love” into seven syllables then yeah, I guess she “killed it.” I don’t. That’s what makes Adele ADELE–she knows when less is more. But the *arrangement* Candice used was Adele’s. There was NOTHING original about that. People are giving Candice credit for reinventing that song, but she did not. Adele did.

        • iamraven07 says:

          Oh, I like singers who adds run at the right time and at the right amount. She didn’t just do that run just for the sake of showing she could do it, but to stylistically add life to the song. Her choices are amazing. She is amazing. I LOVE Adele, and simple is good, but what Candice did with the song is add more fire to it.

        • Alienate says:

          We get it. You are a Candice hater. Move on….

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Adele has ripped off several black soul singers jsyk. Anita Baker comes to mind when listening to her.

    • Denise S says:

      Surely, you must be an accountant, librarian or something…but certainly not an accurate fan of worthwhile music. Or, if you are a music professional hiding your name in the shadows, shame on you. Or, if you are a P.R professional, cudos to this effort to get everyone’s back-hairs up! Two entirely different arrangements of the same song. Two entirely different vocal interpretations of the same song. Two different tempo, style and directions of the same song. You sound to be either indignant that someone like Candice Glover could do such a fantastic performance of such a a song, or you are one of those “family/friends encouragers of totally vocally untalented people who dare to try out for A.I. and go away crying, swearing and irate with obscene gestures that they were not chosen to return.”. Are you really serious when you use the word “boring” in this review? I can’t go as far as saying Candice has given the best performance ever sine the first of A.I., however when you pay attention to creativity, vox capability, ability to follow direction, and ability to follow your own heart, Candice graced this song with her performance. Yes, she owned it. You should apologize for your comment.

    • LYJ says:

      Let’s see you do better.

    • syb says:

      Not ANYTHING like Adele’s version. Not even the same genre. I think saying Candice “ripped off Adele” must be the new “I’m jaded and I know it” thing to say, but anyone who listened to Candice’s jazz styling and compared it to Adele’s spare alt/pop styling would guffaw. Of course not everyone is going to like it. But let’s not make stuff up.

  12. I Heart Damon Salvatore says:

    Goodness, Candice was good but she wasn’t the second coming of Streisand. I thought it was bad enough that Randy Jackson proclaimed it the best performance in the history of singing competitions, but between this and TVGuide naming it the top moment of the week … holy pimpage, Batman.

    • uh huh says:

      I don’t even LIKE Fantasia, but even I know her “Summertime” is probably the best Idol performance ever. And Clay Aiken’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” was spine-tingling, too. And Kelly’s “Stuff Like That There.” Hey, look, I can’t come up with anything after season three! What does that tell you? LOL

      • I Heart Damon Salvatore says:

        I agree — Fantasia makes my skin crawl most of the time, but Summertime is easily Top 5 in all Idol performances. But, I’d also give props to Carrie Underwood’s “Alone,” Kris Allen’s “Heartless,” Adam Lambert’s “Mad World”…Pretty much anything done by Hailey Reinhart. Seems to me everyone got their feathers ruffled that Candice wasn’t in the Top 3 the week before and are pushing all of this unnecessary praise on her to make up for it.

        • teatime says:

          We can add a number of Cook’s performances to the list. Including Billie Jean, Always Be My Baby, and The World I Know. Amanda Brown’s Dream On, from that other show, was also a fantastic performance. Candice was smart to give us an unexpected version of a great song. Her vocals were beautiful. That performance could have just won the season for her.

        • white lancer says:

          Pretty much anything by Haley Reinhart? C’mon, now. She was good, but nowhere near infallible–“Call Me” and “Earth Song,” for two, were typical AI stuff with some truly painful moments, and pretty much everything from her before “Bennie And The Jets” just screamed early-boot fodder. How easily we forget the mediocre performances of those we lift onto a pedestal.
          .
          Also, only Haley’s “House of the Rising Sun” approaches the greatness of this Candice performance (I’d say it probably beat it, but only by a slim margin). For what it’s worth, “Lovesong” just took the top slot EVER on WhatNotToSing.com based on critic reviews around the web. I don’t think it was the best performance ever, but top 10? Sure.

        • Dee says:

          I take it you are just a hater. Why is it so hard for people to give credit for hard work and natural talent. Lets all put it down to a matter of musical preference. Agree to disagree and be civil.

      • tvdiva says:

        I loved Fantasia’s rendition of Summertime, but I think the version of Lovesong by Candace was incredible. Vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Nancy Wilson, etc. tell an emotional story when they sing. Candance is a natural born storyteller via song.

    • JT says:

      he said it was “one of” the greatest performances, not “the greatest.” which i think most can agree, it ranks among to top handful

    • sherab says:

      say wha’-??!!

  13. Elyse says:

    I don’t watch American Idol but I have to agree with the honorable mention!

  14. SR says:

    Michael Cudlitz. Southland. Chaos. I know he just got it but anyone who has seen the episode would understand why he should get POTW again. Along with an Emmy, a SAG award and a Golden Globe. Fingers crossed for another season!

  15. jalahyacinth says:

    I just watched that for the first time and…. I hate to admit it… But I think it’s been over-hyped. Was it good? Yes. Great? Yes. The best performance of all time? Not even close. She’s AMAZING, but… I still don’t entirely see how she’ll ever be mainstream enough to sell as many records as they want the next winner to sell. Maybe she’ll go the Broadway diva route, which would fit her a LOT better…

  16. Michelle says:

    Liam McIntyre KILLED it in the Spartacus finale. Come on, people!

  17. jay cross says:

    Candice was great during Wednesday but they might as well have given it to kelly freaking clarkson for his people like us live performance and funny banter with mariah. plus the adorable footage from her audition ELEVEN seasons ago..!!!!

  18. jay cross says:

    i know youre behind this slezak… i see you!!!

  19. Kevin says:

    Heather Morris.

  20. Adam says:

    The cast of Glee really sold the emotions, but it was a really sensitive emotional topic to begin with. While they did a really great job, it wasn’t their performances that made it so emotional – our emotions were already heightened by the situation they were in. [I hated the episode, personally, finding using memories of recent tragedy a exploitative way of causing a guaranteed emotional response from the audience that can be confused with quality.]
    For me, the performance of the week was Lara Jean Chorostecki as Freddie Loundes in Hannibal. Her first appearance on the show and she’s already my favorite character that elevates the whole show.

  21. Fox says:

    Who gives a crap about American Idol when shows like Game of Thrones, Nikita, and Spartacus are on. Liam McIntyre was amazing last night and IS the performer of the week. Come on TVLine where is the article and q&a on the series finale of Spartacus?

  22. JT says:

    st helena island is in SC, not GA

  23. Maggie says:

    Connie Britton was fantastic on this week’s episode of Nashville, her realization about why her father had been so mad at her for so long was heartbreaking, and her moments with Deacon were simple but electric.

  24. jean says:

    all you hatters…get a grip……..sayin she copied adele……adele might hv a nice voice…..bt the technical moments tht candice had not to mention the stage presence and confidence…….adele’s got nothing on her….in my opinion she did it better……..adele is even pale….never smiles….doesnt know how to play with the camera….. she
    has the voice bt man…this was wonderful…

  25. jonathon says:

    candice deserved this praise this week, maybe next week she won’t but this week she crushed it. best performance on that show in a long time. hard to compare to other seasons but unless she falters down the stretch she should be the next american idol. those who don’t watch the show should comment elsewhere, i love Game of Thrones but they can win it any week, Idol will probably never get mentioned again but that performance was amazing!

  26. pete says:

    Michael Cudlitz should have got it, but tvline is all about the page views now, so idol will bring more people in. Performer of the week should be reserved for non-reality shows. With people bringing up glee in a week where Southland was as powerful as it was, shows how far TV has fallen. For shame tvline for shame

  27. Rik says:

    Um no that wasn’t even close to one of Idol’s greatest performances ever. She demonstrated some great vocal ability in the song for sure but to be one of the greatest songs ever on Idol you also have to have done something good with the song and that was a HORRIFIC arrangement of the song. When you a drastically re-arranged version of a great classic song then the re-arrangement needs to be something special ala David Cook’s versions of Billie Jean or Hello.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Idol is originally a singing competition. Unlike WGWGs (like Cook) who show creative interpretation by making some drastic re-arrangement, (that were somehow blatant rip-offs, eg: Heartless by The Fray, Hello by Incubus, Eleanor Rigby by some random youtube act) Candice does it by soaring her skilled phrasing and diction ability, and truth be told, that’s a lot harder cause it separates the ones who can really sing from the ones who can carry some notes.

      • MC says:

        ITA. Candice is one of the very best pure singers (probably top five) they have had on AI. People are talking about Lovesong, but her interpretations are consistently stellar.

      • Rik says:

        You do realize that Candice’s version was just a blatant rip-off of the Adele version don’t you. Yes most of the so called great re-arrangements of the WGWG over the last few years were merely covers of covers too but that doesn’t change my point that those re-arranged covers were great new versions of the songs whereas the Adele / Candice version is not. It shows off vocal ability but it didn’t create something magical out of the song. What Chris Cornell did to Billie Jean and then David Cook copied was pure magic because it created an awesome new version of the song that succeeded in both showcasing the singer and showcasing the new song. The Adele / Candice version only succeeded in showcasing the vocal talent but it was an atrocious version of the song.

        • JT says:

          you must have an incredibly loose criteria for using the word “atrocious”

        • Adam Fachry says:

          I do realize, but you have to re-listen to the Adele’s version all over again. it’s NOT that similar. Adele has more of a bossa vibe to it, while Candice (in the live performance, not in the studio version because I haven’t heard of it yet), leans toward a stripped-down piano with some r&b twist approach. Yes, on the surface, it is a cover of the Adele cover, but it’s hardly a rip-off. And let me just say this, your comment is very SUBJECTIVE, as is mine. You’re basically saying Candice doesn’t create magic because you like the original better, well truth be told, I don’t think what Cook or Cornell did with Billie Jean was anything special either. Your argument that Cook and Cornell created a whole new song doesn’t even counter my point, because Candice (And Adele) also created a whole new song. Let’s agree to disagree on our own favorites, but don’t ever start critiquing if you don’t have any strong argument.

        • Adam Fachry says:

          I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. On the surface, yes, it is a cover of the Adele’s cover. But, in terms of arrangement, it’s not that similar. Adele has a bossa-esque approach to her rendition while Candice’s is more of a stripped-down piano with some r&b kick. I suggest you re-listen to the Adele’s version all over again as the difference is very apparent. Tbh, your comment is very subjective. You’re basically saying you really like Cook and Cornell’s version of Billie Jean without making any strong argument. Because they created a whole new song? Well the same can be said of Adele and Candice as well. With that comment, you’ve also shown favoritism.

        • natalie says:

          Are you a Lazaro fan? That is the only explanation.

    • teatime says:

      @Rik I agree with what you are saying about the arrangement. Lovesong is one of my favorite songs and the original arrangement is a large part or why I love the original. The Candice/Adele version allows them to focus on the vocals but it also strips away some of the great elements of the original version.

    • reality says:

      “horrific” that was a beautiful, heartfelt, technically brilliant performance from a vocally amazing young woman, who eclipsed both adele and the cures professionally recorded version live on stage. your denial of her through ignorance and hatred is what’s horrific. all of you haters with your passive aggressive undertones its pathetic. you can’t dim her light no matter what you say your words, like you are weak and irrelevant.

  28. Alan says:

    no. performer of the week should be used to spotlight great acting not the efforts of mediocre talent show wannabes who people will forget in 5 minutes. im sorry tvline but this article is a joke and devalues all the previous performers of the week.
    allow me to suggest some actual performers of the week: maggie q, lyndsy fonseca or aaron stanford from nikita, james roday or maggie lawson from psych, or the girl who plays arya in game of thrones whos name i cant remember right now. even in a bad episode any of those actors deserve performer of the week over some no talent waste of tv time, especially maggie q.

  29. Sara says:

    I agree that her performance of Lovesong was phenomenal, however I also feel like there were some really strong acting performances out there that should be recognized (people have been mentioning Southland and admittedly I do not watch that show, but I have seen all over the internet this week people talking about it being an awesome episode). I like that TVline is recognizing that there are some amazing vocalists on reality shows, but I really doubt we would ever see a performer from The Voice on here being recognized. I agree with the above posters that perhaps Spartacus should have been recognized. It was their finale and the actors (all of them over the years really) have done some AMAZING stuff with what could potentially have been a very campy and over the top show. It is gory, it is in your face with the sexuality, and it was brilliant in the way it brought humanity (even the disgusting parts of humanity) into every single minute of every episode. Spartacus would have been my choice for this week.

  30. surpriselover says:

    I believe the cast of Glee should’ve been performers of the week the skill and range showed in this week’s episode deserved recognition.

  31. Name That Tune says:

    I’m looking forward to Slezak’s Top 25 Idol performancesI ever (revised). Lovesong is going to be in there. And not at #25.

  32. Kristina says:

    I figured Michael Cudlitz wouldn’t get it this week because he was co-Performer of the Week a couple of weeks back, but how can you possibly compete with that episode? Especially at the end at the gas station. And let’s not forgot two were kidnapped and Anthony Ruivivar’s performance was also outstanding.

  33. Adam Fachry says:

    I love Candice, but the cast of Mad Men should’ve been performer(s) of the week. Cause they remind us that good tv is still alive!

  34. dani n. says:

    There were rose petals on a backdrop?? Candice’s grasp of that song was so hypnotic and gut wrenching I didn’t even see them.Myeyes were glued to her.

  35. Elga says:

    Cmom, enough with this campaign. AI is terrible this year, and this singer has no appeal at all. Ok, she sings perfectly, but damn she is far from being an idol. Making her the performer of the week is pushing too hard. We had Mad men, glee, and Spartacus finale this week, no way you couldn’t find any other better act. I’m seriously annoyed by this bias on TVline for AI and Candice. Shame on you.

  36. IMHO says:

    At the time of writing, 50 comments. Most of them are disagreeing that this is the performance of the week. Sorry guys but Candice really isn’t the second coming of whoever. Not interested.

  37. jane says:

    Obviously, Adele inspired her version, just like David Cook’s Billy Jean was really Chris Cornell’s version. I still give her credit, though, for even picking this song in the first place. It shows she has real taste in music and maybe her records won’t be terrible. I also would include her cover of “Come Together” a few weeks back as an idol moment which didn’t get the high praise it deserved. She always adds something more to a song. I get more emotion and understanding from her than the other contestants that are left. Janelle does a good job too with connecting to a song, but it always remains somewhat cutesy. I don’t know how old Candice is but her interpretations of songs always has an adult feel to them if you know what I mean. Amber and Angie’s lack of experience shows, and their covers are what’s expected. They are good, but certainly not what is going to be talked about the next day. Go Candice!

  38. Pedro. says:

    TV Line is worse than Nigel, from week 1 pushing Candice too hard.

    It’s making her unlikable.

  39. Brandon says:

    What about Maggie Lawson?!?!?!?!?!? She was brilliantly heart breaking in Psych this week!

    • Rach says:

      ^^^THIS! Maggie’s performance was spot on. It must have been hard to act that out with James, but she played it beautifully! Where’s her recognition???

  40. Johnny says:

    I must admit I’m so very much liking the fact that more people are mentioning how much tvline and Slezak are pushing their own agendas in these articles instead of allowing people to read an unbiased recap and make their own statements. Seems too many have become sheep and will follow whatever a blog author or whomever has to say on something. Or even with AI seems people listen to what a judge has to say or Jimmy just because they are supposed to be somebody in the industry. I get the industry respect factor, however, I don’t like them basically pushing people to like who they like instead of letting the public view and umm pick who they actually like for whatever reason they like them. If they will push their own agendas, voting should have never been in the picture because crazily enough, people would have watched anyway I think. Candice can sing, yes, but as many have said on here, she’s DEFINITELY NOT a second coming of anything, other than perhaps second coming of yet another chick who can also sing pretty well but has nothing else really going on about her that will help catapult her into any kind of stardom. I tend to think Mariah on that show is usually drunk or dilirious anyway, so her throwing glitter on Candice didn’t make me think of her as being any more sane. ijs

  41. Name That Tune says:

    As hard as this is to accept, TV Line’s Performance of the Week is always given to an actor. Maybe just once a year, the actors can step aside so a deserving young singer can be honored. Next week your favorite actors can have the spotlight back.

  42. Amy says:

    Candice. Chills. I have no other words. Except maybe to say…she really, truly has been perfection this whole season, and deserves to win. Either way…this girl’s making an album.

  43. jonathon says:

    tvline has the right to choose whoever they want for this distinction and in this case, because it is still a show a watch, i think they nailed it right on the head. for those who don’t like reality t.v. better luck next week but give Candice her 15 minutes, she really is a great singer and really deserves it.

  44. Nathan says:

    When Candice sang this song, I was mesmerized from the beginning. There were moments where I literally said out loud “ohhh” and “ahhh” during the song and I hardly ever do that watching Idol. All season, I had been been waiting for one of the singers to have a “moments” and Candice MORE than delivered. So awesome.

  45. In it to win it, dawg! says:

    “…effortlessly playing with the melody and adding cool, organic riffs that were on par with the all-time jazz greats”

    After watching it live and a few dozens times afterwards, I could not help but think this was the second coming of Sarah Vaughn and that is nothing to sneeze at. It is the only second idol video to hit 1 million views on youtube this season. The ironic thing is it completely overshadowed another dynamic performance in Don’t Make Me Over.

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